Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Wives and Lovers: Three Short Novels

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Wives and Lovers: Three Short Novels

Article excerpt

Wives and Lovers: Three Short Novels, by Richard Bausch. HarperPerennial, July 2004. $12.95

Wives & Lovers is a. collection of three short novels left out of the earlier collection-one new, "Requisite Kindness," and two omitted from last year's Collected Stories. "Requisite Kindness" is a story about a father, forced to spend several snowed-in days with his dying mother, who is forced to confront the poor decisions he's made in his life, as well as how his sons have struggled beneath the weight of his accumulated failures. In "Requisite Kindness," Bausch's talent for the simple observed detail is on display. Take for instance this description, post funeral, of Brian Mutton in the front yard of his grandmother's home: "The smoothness of the snow in the lawn made him think about the fact that this was a house where no children lived." The pristine yard weighs heavily on Brian, highlighting the empty last few years and the loneliness ahead for both him and his father. …

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